Five California teens win Diller tikkun olam awards


SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — Five California teenagers won Diller Teen Tikkun Olam awards for their innovative social action projects.

Each will receive an honorarium of $36,000, meant to support the project or the recipient’s future education.

The winners are Gabriel Ferrick, 16, of Santa Rosa, for his campaign supporting young Darfur refugees; Lisa Gurtin,17, of La Jolla, who raises money to bring clean water to impoverished Third World families; Naftali Moed, 16, of Pacifica, for his high school community garden; Casey Robbins,17, of Carmichael, who sends textbooks to schools in Liberia; and Daniel Sobajian,17, of Los Angeles, for organizing donations of school and art supplies to local public schools.  

This year’s winners were selected from 125 nominated projects, each the work of a Jewish teenager in the state.

“There is no doubt that this year’s honorees see how much our world needs help,” said Bay Area philanthropist Helen Diller, president of the Helen Diller Family Foundation, which sponsors the awards. “With creative and committed solutions, they are tackling global issues of access to education, availability of natural resources and distribution of sorely needed humanitarian aid — with every step they truly do repair the world.”


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